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Bird

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

For other uses, see Bird (disambiguation).


"Aves" and "Avifauna" redirect here. For other uses, see Aves (disambiguation) and Avifauna (disambiguation).

Birds
Temporal range:
Late Cretaceous - Present,[1] 850 Ma
Pre

O
S
D
C
P
T
J
K
Pg
N

Scientific classification

Kingdom:

Animalia

Phylum:

Chordata

Clade:

Ornithurae

Class:

Aves

Linnaeus, 1758[2]

Extant Orders

Infraclass Palaeognath
ae

Str
uthioniformes

Rh
eiformes

Ti
namiformes

Ca
suariiformes

Ap
terygiformes

Infraclass Neognathae

Superorder
Galloanserae

Ga
lliformes

An
seriformes

Superorder
Neoaves

Ph
oenicopteriforme
s

Po
dicipediformes

Co
lumbiformes

Me
sitornithiformes

Pte
roclidiformes

Ap
odiformes

Ca
primulgiformes

Cu
culiformes

Oti
diformes

M
usophagiformes

Op

isthocomiformes

Gr
uiformes

Ch
aradriiformes

Ga
viiformes

Pr
ocellariiformes

Sp
henisciformes

Ci
coniiformes

Sul
iformes

Pel
ecaniformes

Eu
rypygiformes

Ph
aethontiformes

Ac
cipitriformes

Str
igiformes

Co
liiformes

Le
ptosomiformes

Tr
ogoniformes

Bu
cerotiformes

Co
raciiformes

Pic
iformes

Ca
riamiformes

Fal
coniformes

Psi
ttaciformes

Pa
sseriformes

Synonyms

Neornithes Gadow, 1883

Birds (class Aves) are a group of endothermic vertebrates, characterised by feathers, a beak with no teeth,
the laying of hard-shelled eggs, a high metabolic rate, a four-chambered heart, and a lightweight but strong skeleton.
Birds live worldwide and range in size from the 5 cm (2 in) bee hummingbird to the 2.75 m (9 ft) ostrich. They rank as
the class of tetrapods with the most living species, at approximately ten thousand, with more than half of these
being passerines, sometimes known as perching birds or, less accurately, as songbirds.
The fossil record indicates that birds are the last surviving dinosaurs, having evolved from feathered ancestors within
the theropod group of saurischian dinosaurs. True birds first appeared during the Cretaceous period,
around 100 million years ago.[3] However, primitive bird-like "stem-birds" that lie outside class Aves proper, in the
group Avialae, have been found dating back to the mid-Jurassic period.[1] Many of these early stem-birds, such
as Archaeopteryx, were not yet capable of fully powered flight, and many retained primitive characteristics like toothy
jaws in place of beaks and long bony tails.[1][4]
Birds have more or less developed wings; the only known groups without wings are the extinct moa and elephant
birds. Bird wings, which evolved from forelimbs, enabled birds the ability of bird flight. The digestive and respiratory
systems of birds are also uniquely adapted for flight, although further speciation has led to some flightless birds,
including ratites, penguins, and diverse endemic island species of birds. Some bird species of aquatic environments,
particularly the aforementioned flightless penguins, and also members of the duck family, have also evolved
for swimming. Birds, specifically Darwin's finches, played an important part in the inception of Darwin's
theory of evolution by natural selection.
Some birds, especially corvids and parrots, are among the most intelligent animals; several bird species make and
use tools, and many social species pass on knowledge across generations, which is considered a form of culture.
Many species annually migrate great distances. Birds are social, communicating with visual signals, calls, and bird
songs, and participating in such social behaviours as cooperative breeding and hunting, flocking, and mobbing of
predators. The vast majority of bird species are socially monogamous, usually for one breeding season at a time,
sometimes for years, but rarely for life. Other species have polygynous ("many females") or,
rarely, polyandrous ("many males") breeding systems. Birds produce offspring by laying eggs which are fertilized
throughsexual reproduction. They are usually laid in a nest and incubated by the parents. Most birds have an
extended period of parental care after hatching. Some birds, such as hens, lay eggs even when not fertilized, though
unfertilized eggs do not produce offspring.
Many species of birds are economically important. Domesticated and undomesticated birds (poultry and game) are
important sources of eggs, meat, and feathers. Songbirds, parrots, and other species are popular
as pets. Guano (bird excrement) is harvested for use as a fertilizer. Birds prominently figure throughout human
culture. About 120130 species have become extinct due to human activity since the 17th century, and hundreds
more before then. Human activity threatens about 1,200 bird species with extinction, though efforts are underway
to protect them. Recreationalbirdwatching is an important part of the ecotourism industry.
Contents

[hide]

1Evolution and classification


o

1.1Definition

1.2Dinosaurs and the origin of birds

1.3Early evolution

1.4Early diversity of bird ancestors

1.5Diversification of modern birds

1.6Classification of bird orders

2Distribution

3Anatomy and physiology


o

3.1Skeletal system

3.2Excretory system

3.3Respiratory and circulatory systems

3.3.1Heart type and features

3.3.2Organization

3.4Nervous system

3.5Defence and intraspecific combat

3.6Chromosomes

3.7Feathers, plumage, and scales

3.8Flight

4Behaviour
o

4.1Diet and feeding

4.2Water and drinking

4.3Feather care

4.4Migration

4.5Communication

4.6Flocking and other associations

4.7Resting and roosting

4.8Breeding

4.8.1Social systems

4.8.2Territories, nesting and incubation

4.8.3Parental care and fledging

4.8.4Brood parasites

4.8.5Sexual selection

5Ecology

6Relationship with humans


o

6.1Economic importance

6.2Religion, folklore and culture

6.3Conservation

7See also

8Notes

9External links